What We Lost in the Fire

Cape Town burned for three days this April in one of the worst fires that I can remember. I woke to the sound of helicopters transporting water from the dam in the city to the mountainside that was on fire. I fell asleep to the sound of sirens from fire engines, hoping that the wind…

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The Controversial Blackness (or lack thereof) of Ancient Egypt

Featured Image: Nick Brundle/Getty Images My first historical love was the history of Ancient Egypt. One of my fondest memories was my Dad gifting me this large coffee table book with pictures of various artifacts from Ancient Egypt. My tiny fingers flipped through the pages as I was mesmerized by the pictures of Ancient Egyptian…

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A Scene from “Brief Encounter”

Featured Artwork: ‘Brief Encounter’ by Stephen Pannell In David Lean’s 1945 film Brief Encounter, a middle-aged housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) meets the married doctor Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) by chance at an English train station. With a friendly conversation over tea, a speck of coal caught under the eye, and a series of arranged…

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A History of Silence

Featured Image: Corbis/Getty Images As a young child growing up in Cape Town, I knew that the minstrel carnival my parents took us to each new year and the songs sung by the Malay choirs had something to do with slavery. It certainly wasn’t something that we learned about during history lessons at school and…

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Asian Women Are Not Your Punchline

Featured Illustration: Phung Banh When I was eight, I visited my relatives in China for the first time in five years. I’d gone with my entire family. Much of the trip lives in hazy memory, born out of blazing summer days and in sweltering tresses of palm trees. It feels almost psychedelic now, looking back…

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Hasnain Ali: Producing Opportunities

Featured Image: Yekaterina Gyadu Hasnain Ali is a Pakistani-American Muslim actor and producer from Queens, New York. He has been in short films, web series, TV series, and feature films such as the 2017 romantic comedy Irritable starring Aaron Dake, Stefanie Bloom, Jessica Barrish, and more. Ali’s love for acting began when working in finance.…

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An Artist’s Reframing of the Past

On first viewing, Jody Paulsen’s textile collages displayed against the bright yellow walls of the SMAC Gallery in Cape Town appear to be a joyful celebration of life. I am drawn towards them, wanting to touch the multiple layers of felt, recalling childhood games and crafts. On closer examination though, I recognise deeper references to…

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Side Effects

Featured Image: Hanifa Abdul Hameed Over the sewing machine Among the steady hum  Of the needle gliding into the fabric I hear  ‘Ladkiyon ko zyaada nahi parhaana chahiye Unki soch badal jaati hai. Ladkiyaan zyaada parh leti hain Toh bahu banna bhool jati hain.’   Girls shouldn’t study too much Their way of thinking changes…

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The Rebranding of AAVE: Modern Day Minstrel

Featured Image: Shannon Ahren for Alligator African American Vernacular English (AAVE), also known as Black English and Ebonics, is a dialect with its own grammatical rules, vocabulary, and sentence structure. AAVE is believed to have started during slavery, as the enslaved people were unable to understand English, and many were unable to communicate with each…

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